UPDATE: After Demolition, Old, I-74 Bridge Is Nearly Gone
The Helm Group continues to tear down what's left of the old I-74 bridge. On Sunday around 7:30 A.M., the contractor successfully blew up the remaining towers and cables of the westbound bridge.
Updated, 8/28/23 at 5:00 P.M.:
By Sunday at 8:15 A.M., the westbound towers and cables from the old bridge were "down and traffic resumed on the new I-74 bridge in the Quad Cities." On Facebook, the project team thanked everyone for being patient. Then Monday morning, the team posted that Helm had removed the cables that had fallen into the river. And the main channel of the Mississippi reopened Sunday afternoon.
Helm employees will continue to recover the rest of the debris. Boaters and others will have to wait until the end of the day on Tuesday, for the rest of the river to reopen.
Through next spring, the contractor will use a combination of jackhammering, drilling and underwater blasting to get the remaining bridge elements removed down to the river bed.
Once again, the new interstate bridge will be closed for the demolition of the old westbound towers and cables.
To hear the explosion from the June 18th demolition of the eastbound bridge towers and cables, listen to Michelle O'Neill's story by clicking on the blue, play button above. On Sunday, August 27th, the Helm Group will repeat the process on the westbound towers and cables, with additional explosions underwater.
Project Manager, Ahmad Afifeh, from the Iowa Department of Transportation hopes it's anti-climactic. He knows people are attached to the iconic, green bridge, but the project team is telling people not to go watch the demolition in person.
On Sunday at 7:00 A.M. in the Quad Cities, parts of Interstate 74 and the new bridge will be completely closed for about one hour. That includes the bike/pedestrian lane.
Detours will be in place for through-traffic to use I-80 and 280. Local traffic will be detoured to Centennial Bridge. Bettendorf's riverfront trail, Leach Park, and the parking lot near the bridge will also be closed. River traffic will also be stopped for up to a day. In June, Afifeh says the main channel was able to be reopened after ten hours following the eastbound explosions.
Afifeh encourages everyone to watch the demolition online HERE.
Thanks to Tammy Mutka of Raw Images Art & Photography for her audio taken from her video of the June 18th eastbound tower demolition.